In the early 2000s I lived in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, about as far west in Canada as you can be without falling into the Pacific Ocean. Â Victoria is at the most southern tip of 460 km (290 mile) long Vancouver Island, about even with Whidbey Island, Washington. Â Business would take me to downtown Vancouver regularly, a straight-line distance of about 110 km (70 miles). Â I could drive to the ferry terminal, wait, have a nice 90 minute ferry ride, then drive in traffic to downtown Vancouver. Â Total trip time? Â 3 hours, if traffic was light. Â Cost? Â About CA$70 each way. But I could also fly harbour to harbour in about 30 minutes. Â As a fellow AvGeek, which one do you think I enjoyed more??
There are 2 regular airline services flying between Victoriaâ€™s and Vancouverâ€™s harbours. Â Both harbours are Transport Canada certified airports, with designated water â€œrunwaysâ€. Â You can fly fixed-wing on Harbour Airâ€™s 14 passenger DeHavilland Canada DHC-3 Turbine Otters or 18-seat DHC-6 Twin Otters. Â Or you can take a helicopter – Helijet flies 12-seat, twin-engine, Sikorsky S-76s or 4-seat Bell 206L LongRangers. Â Which way to go? Â Letâ€™s have a look at the two airlines.